5 Oct 2015

Morning Crossword by Gerard Rochford and Esther Green

Morning Crossword by Gerard Rochford and Esther Green
... sapiosexual!
Images by Esther Green
Poems by Gerard Rochford

Morning Crossword by Gerard Rochford and Esther Green is a collaboration and not simply an illustrated selection of poems. 

Neither the illustrations of Esther Green, nor Rochford's poetry take primacy, although Morning Crossword does look and feel like a poetry book, and it is not possible to establish whether Esther Green's fine line drawings are in colour or not.

Either way, Esther Green's drawings are compromised by the book form.

Poetry is used to appearing on a page 280 x 400 mms in scope, but art is not.  Poetry loves that totally trad rectangular portrait size ... but art just comes as it is.

It means that in Morning Crossword, drawings that have been made in other shapes or in landscape have been vastly reduced to fit the page, so although the poems may not be taking the front seat, they at least appear to because of the restrictions Esther Green's crazy, dark, pre-Raph, Goth, sapiosexual, Allan Poe-Poe-ish drawings must face in being reduced to the slim volume format.

That said, the formula is good. In reading a poem like Gerard Rochford's Daughter of the Farm about a defiantly intelligent young women of long ago, the reader is faced with the incongruous and magical image of an angry young woman replete with magical imagery - a raven, a clock, a bat, a skewed masonic floor plan, curtain and invisible cat.

Generally the images collide on a more straightforward basis. Time passes and over a mild winter  and poet Rochford's income fades; Macbeth's three witches materialse with New Romantic haircuts, alongside a deep melancholy which afflicts the poetry:

How frail this mirror held to vanity,telling me nothing I don't already know,the insignificance of a life at ebb,those drifted years...

Possibly the most striking poem in the collection is a macabre and yet hugely relished number called Crow Feast

The images remain unpleasantly powerful, and if one of the challenges of poetry is to see how much of life and how much you can say in the fewest words possible, then Crow Feast is certainly a winner:

The crow is eating his wifeShe had bad luck on the roadbeneath their nest.

Gerard Rochford Poetry